Problem Teeth - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Problem Teeth

Just wondering if any of you have experience with problem teeth?

Regarding a 6 year old morgan mare:
In November, my mare had developed a fever and runny nose and had baseball sized swelling in what seemed like her sinus. (below her eye, above her nostril on the right side) Called the vet, administered antibiotics.. opened up her mouth and saw a molar descending through the roof of her mouth (compacted tooth).. apparently one of her baby molars never fell out, guessed which one it was and attempted to pull it. The root was too deep and the tooth wouldn't budge, for fear of breaking the tooth the mare was left alone. A week later, trailered her to the vets for x-rays.. mouth was looked at again, she was then tranqued and x-rayed and x rays were inconclusive about which tooth was supposed to be pulled as the roots were both about as deep as an adult tooth. X rays showed no sinus infection- good news. X rays sent to University for second opinion.

Mare could be sent to university for standing surgery (where they just pull tooth, which my local vet could do if it was loose) for about 1500. Mare could be put down for surgery to cut through sinus to punch down and remove the tooth. Around 4000. Mare could be looked at by another local vet with dentist (work in a team) who have luck pulling problem teeth, but if tooth breaks, it puts us worse off. Last and final option was chosen to take mare off antibiotics and let nature do its work for about a month or so and reevaluate her to see if the tooth has loosened.

Well its been about a month, last I saw her she had no signs of infection other than the swelling that remained.. It was a little sore to the touch, but she did not have a fever, she was eating, and she didnt have a runny nose. I have to call the vet to come out and see her, hopefully the gum has softened a little bit from the infection and the tooth has rotted/loosened enough to pull.. if it hasn't what should I do?

I've tried researching and haven't come up with any luck on this sort of thing. I don't want to pay for the surgery if its not necessary (these things should work themselves out naturally?) as the expense of shipping her will almost double the price of the surgery. And is way more than I paid for her. We also can't just leave it too long (already feel bad about the month, and the swelling is starting to become sore), something should be done.

Would like to hear about your problem teeth to see if it opens my eyes to other options.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 02:20 AM
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UNfortunately nature doesnt always sort things out. The baby teeth come out because the root is reabsorbed by the body and just like with humans leaves just the exposed tooth to fall out.

We had a 19yr old TB with a retained baby tooth fortunately the permanent one pushed through OK and just shoved the small one to one side.

Roots of the baby teeth are nowhere near as big as those of the permanent teeth so maybe it is not a baby tooth but a rogue additional tooth.

To ensure your horse stays healthy I think you have got to bite the bullet and have the extra tooth removed.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Well I'm going to have the tooth removed no matter what, I just don't know how long it is appropriate to wait..
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Also, on her x rays.. there was a tooth with a shorter (by 1/4 inch? Or so) root than the adult teeth, but I know that baby teeth roots are much shorter (than this tooth was), I think it is her 3rd molar that is the problem.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-27-2011, 02:32 AM
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My Clydie mare had a problem with the same tooth but on the lower jaw. The pressure from the temporary tooth that wouldn't go was causing the permanent one in the gum to tilt. He dealt with this by lowering the table of the temporary tooth below the level of the ones around it, once the pressure was relieved the tooth straightened up and eventually came the temporary one came out and the permanent one came through.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 01:19 AM
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Wait to see if the tooth has loosened first, hopefully it will have by now. If not, pulling the tooth orally by experienced veterinarians is the only way to go. Be slightly wary of equine dentists - ask their credentials & call around to their "referenced" clients. Make sure they have done this before if you choose to go with them. The tooth punching should be saved as a last resort as they can have many complications from this surgery.
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